Commercial banks to remain open

Kathmandu, April 17:

Private commercial banks have kept up their services today, despite the general strike called by the seven party alliance entering the twelfth day today.

State-owned banks like Nepal Bank Ltd and Rastriya Banijya Bank however have remained closed due to the employees taking part in the protest programme and the employees’ association calling to halt services.

Citing security reasons, none of the banks wanted to be named or quoted. But members of management at various private commercial banks averred that they would continue to provide banking services. However, they urged the government to provide them security to prevent mobs from vandalising and disrupting their services.

A group of hooligans vandalised the Himalayan Bank Ltd, Pulchowk branch yesterday, which caused some private commercial banks to pull down their shutters. However, the situation has returned to normal today.

“Banking services cannot be brought to a standstill. If we close our services, people would run short of everything. It will hamper the very movement that wants us to shut down now,” said an officer of one of the leading private commercial banks.

Bankers agreed that the number of people coming for withdrawal has significantly increased in the last couple of days, but also said that there have been transactions in deposits too.

Auto Teller Machines and counters of private commercial banks remained crowded today and private commercial banks have been providing service during the normal office hours.

While talking to this daily, another banker said that due to security reasons, banks have been compelled to use back doors sometimes. But banks have not denied any service to customers, he added.

“Withdrawals and deposits have remained comparable, but the traffic has been relatively low,” the officer said. Bankers said that they would continue the banking services as it is one of the essential services.